Alaska Blog-XVII – Landing in Haines

    Haines harbor

Haines harbor

June 4th,

We arrive in Haines, AK!! It is a little sad to disembark. We made some friends and had a great time. But from the deck we spot Dave, leaning against the tan rental van.

Good news! The proprietor of the Orca Inn at Cordova tells Dave that the ice has broken on Miles Lake and there is a path across the lake. It’s a day and a half drive to Chitina (pronounced Chitna). Two students are driving the raft and a week’s food from Anchorage. They will drive the van and the pick-up truck back to Anchorage.

We walk around Haines a little, buy a tee shirt and groceries. The port, glacier, mountains are all, of course, gorgeous. I bought a postcard of the Cathedral Peaks, only summited in ’76, 82, and 04. Dave buys a propane connector for the stove.

We have to drive through Canada to get to Chitina and Dave has forgotten his passport. He says they questioned him on the way to Haines and indeed they question him on the return across this small corner of Canada. One of the border patrol agents says it’s always the locals who forget their documents.

Dave, another brother Peter, and a friend Carl, biked from White Horse to Haines a couple of years ago. Dave points out the small café where they planned a huge breakfast on the 4th of July. No coffee or food left in their packs, they biked up the mountain pass, only to find the shop closed for the holiday. Nothing to do but bike on into Haines, another 50 miles.

Then we found the refurbished wooden crate, made into a wayfarers’ station, and the note on a page in the journal of record on a ledge, written by Peter, the night of July 3, 2009. I was glad we were in a van, not on bikes.
The drive is around the Wrangle Mountains, a series of 16,00 down to 13,00 peaks, all toothy and snow-covered.. Wrangle is still an active volcano. The second day, as we round them, we see the huge volcano caldron on Sanford.

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